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Manufacturer Aston Martin
Production 1963-1971

1,967 produced

Predecessor Aston Martin DB5
Successor Aston Martin DB6
Class Grand tourer
Body style(s) 2-door coupé 2+2
Layout FR layout
Engine(s) 3995 cc L Tadek Marek [[Straight=six dohc engine]]
Wheel base 101.5 in (2578 mm)
Length 182 in (4623 mm)
Width 66 in (1676 mm)
Height 53.5 in (1359 mm)
Curb Weight 3,250 lb (1,474)

Aston Martin DB6

The Aston Martin DB6 was a British grand touring motorcar introduced by Aston Martin in September 1965. The car had improved aerodynamics and specification over its predecessor, the DB5. The final DB6 was produced during the first week of January 1971, giving the model the longest production run to date of any Aston Martin model.

History and design

After Aston Martin rejected proposals for a replacement for its DB5 from Touring of Milan, the decision was made to focus on their own development car, registered, 4 YMC. Wind tunnel testing, begun in February 1965, showed work was needed to counteract a tendency toward aerodynamic lift causing reduced rear-wheel traction at high speeds.

Final development phases relied upon DB5 chassis, suitably lengthened and titled MP 219, with rear spoiler and abbreviated Kammback tail Aston Martin previously incorporated in sports-racing prototypes. The decision was made to produce MP 219 as the Aston Martin DB6 although the prototype de Dion rear axle was rejected, Aston’s soldiering on with its well-located live-axle configuration reducing cost and complexity.

Introduced at the 1965 London Motor Show, the DB6 was notable as the first model engineered following a factory move from Feltham to Newport Pagnell. From its frontal aspect, the DB6 looked virtually identical to the DB5; the greatest difference is in both wheelbase side profile and rear panels incorporating the Kammback. The tail, combined with the relocated rear-axle and the 3.75-inch (95 mm) lengthened wheelbase, provide more stability at high speed. Though the rear-end Kamm-styled design was similar to the Ferrari 250, it did not prove popular with buyers when the DB6 was introduced, although road-tests of the day observed top speed of the Vantage model between 145 mph to 148 mph, with the intrepid John Bolster reaching his maximum two-way average of 151 mph.

Design elements include adopting front-door quarter windows, an oil-cooler air scoop low on the front valance, quarter-bumpers at each corner and overall length of the DB6 increased by approximately two inches.

Other notable changes:

  • Roof line raised by two inches
  • Genuinely useful leg room for rear passengers
  • More steeply raked albeit taller windscreen
  • Split front and rear bumpers
  • Standard chrome wire wheels on bias-ply whitewall tyres [in USA market]
  • Optional power steering
  • Optional air conditioning
  • Standard ZF five-speed manual unit and a Borg Warner or optional three speed automatic gearbox available at no extra cost
  • Optional Vantage specification retaining triple side-draft Weber 45DCOE carburetors with other minor revisions raising quoted output to 325 hp

Another major change from the DB5 to DB6 was the abandonment of the full superleggera construction technique patented by coachbuilders/stylist Touring of Milan. For later DB6′s construction, the more common body-on-frame technique was used; this was primarily due to the extended rear requiring a stronger and more rigid design using folding sheet metal frames.

Specifications

The DB6 is powered by the 3,995 cc twin-overhead camshaft [dohc], in-line six-cylinder Aston Martin engine designed by the legendary Tadek Marek. The engine, with its triple SU [Smith's Union] carb setup produces 282bhp (210 kW; 286 PS) at 5,500 rpm; the Vantage engine option is quoted at 325bhp (242 kW; 330 PS) against the 314bhp (234 kW; 318 PS) of the DB5. Although the weight of the DB6 was approximately 17lb (7.7 kg) heavier than its predecessor, the stability at high speed and comforts for passengers in this grand tourer GT more than offset any imperceptible loss in performance caused by additional weight.

  • Kerb weight: 1,474kg (3,250 lb)
  • Engine: 4.0 L (3995 cc/244 in) straight-6
  • Compression ratio: 8.9
  • Power: 282hp (210 kW) at 5500 rpm (standard engine)
  • Power: 325hp (242 kW) at 5750 rpm (optional Vantage engine)
  • Torque: 400Nm (295 ftlbf) at 4500 rpm
  • Top Speed: 241km/h (150 mph)
  • 0-60mph (97km/h) Acceleration: 8.4 s
  • Fuel tank capacity: 19impgal (86 L; 23US gal) (standard)
    16impgal (73 L; 19US gal) (with optional air conditioning)

Future models and variants

The DB6 Mark II was announced on 21 August 1969, identified by distinct flares on front and rear wheel arches and wider tyres on 1/2″ wider wheels. Available as an optional extra for the Mark II was AE Brico electronic fuel-injection combined with the higher compression ratio cylinder head. The Mark II edition shared many parts with the then-new DBS.

As with previous Aston Martin models, a high-power DB6 Vantage was offered. It was equipped with three Weber carburetors and higher compression ratio cylinder head.

A convertible body style was also offered, per Aston tradition, called the DB6 Volante first presented at the 1966 London Motor Show. It was the first time that Aston Martin used the Italian title “Volante” for a convertible, a name still used by the company for its convertible models. Early (1965-1966) DB6 Volantes had a “short chassis” body. Just 140 were built, including 29 high-output Vantage Volante versions, highly prized by collectors.

Shooting Brake

A total of six DB6 Shooting-brakes were produced by British coachbuilder Harold Radford. The engine options (282 and 325hp) were the same as for the DB6 Saloon.

  • Kerb weight: 1,587kg (3,499 lb)
  • Overall length: 180in (4572mm)
  • Overall width: 66in (1676mm)
  • Height: 52in (1321mm)
  • Turning radius: 34 feet
  • Wheelbase: 98in (2489mm)
  • Track: 54in (1372mm)(f)
    53.5in (1359mm)(r)
  • Fuel tank capacity: 16impgal (73 L; 19US gal)

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